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April 22, 2016


DEP (718) 595-6600
Brooklyn BP (917) 574-3277

Calling on Brooklynites to Help Prevent Localized Flooding, BP Adams and DEP Commissioner Lloyd Recognize Earth Day with Launch of Adopt-A-Catch Basin Program

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today recognized Earth Day with the launch of their Adopt-A-Catch Basin pilot program, an initiative in which the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and DEP will form partnerships with block associations, business improvement districts, and other community-based organizations to remove debris that blocks storm drains. The effort is intended to curb localized flooding after heavy rainstorms as well as to help prevent floatables, such as bottles and other debris from entering into waterways. DEP will provide training, as well as gloves and garbage bags, to participating organizations that agree to maintain storm drains in their neighborhoods, and also enroll participants in an early alert system to inform them of upcoming weather events that may cause flooding. Borough President Adams and DEP Commissioner Lloyd toured a portion of Canarsie, the neighborhood with the highest reports to 311 of blocked catch basins last year, and spoke about how Adopt-A-Catch Basin has the potential to make a big quality of life impact with minimal cost and effort.

“Adopt-A-Catch Basin fulfills the ‘think global, act local’ mission that should guide us in Brooklyn on Earth Day and every day throughout the year,” said Borough President Adams. “Catch basins are a critical and oft-overlooked part of our City’s infrastructure, helping to ensure our streets are properly drained and our waterways are cleaner and clearer. I thank DEP Commissioner Lloyd and her team for partnering with my office on this innovative and intuitive community approach to curb localized flooding in our borough.”

“Mayor de Blasio is committed to engaging local communities to help solve quality of life issues and I’m grateful for Borough President Adams’ work in organizing the Adopt-A-Catch Basin pilot program in Brooklyn,” said DEP Commissioner Lloyd. “We look forward to working with community groups in Canarsie, Gowanus, Sunset Park and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens to reduce flooding and ensure the infrastructure serving their neighborhoods is performing at optimal levels.”

The initiative will be piloted in sections of Canarsie, Gowanus, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, and Sunset Park where catch basins that are clogged with garbage and other debris prevent adequate storm water collection, flooding areas nearby and forming small ponds that impede cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians. In Canarsie, the East 84th Street Block Association will focus on catch basins between Avenues M and N. The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) will clean catch basins at locations along Third Avenue in Gowanus. Grace Reformed Church in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens will tend to catch basins on Bedford Avenue between Lefferts Avenue and Lincoln Road. Catch basins in Sunset Park along Fourth Avenue as well as 43rd Street will be cared for by Brooklyn Community Board 7.

“I applaud Borough President Adams in making every effort to get answers or solutions to the flooding that takes place in the Canarsie community,” said Lucina Clarke of the East 84th Street Block Association. “The Adopt-A-Catch Basin project can be a stimulus to community involvement and engagement in being aware of problems that occur when the storm drains become blocked by debris.”

“Community Board 7 is very happy to participate in the Adopt-a-Catch Basin pilot program,” said Jeremy Laufer, district manager for Brooklyn Community Board 7. “We hope that the example of all participants will encourage others to volunteer to support efforts to improve our communities, our borough, and our city.”

“I think it’s great that Borough President Adams is getting the community involved so directly in environmental initiatives,” said Mike Racioppo, executive director of GCCDC. “No better day to highlight this than Earth Day.”

Any additional groups interested in the Adopt-A-Catch Basin program are encouraged to contact the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President for more details.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically-sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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